#BookReview Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

 

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren felt like a book personally made for me.

This novel following Hope Jahren’s life and trials of becoming a geobiologist is a serious gem for my collection. Every sentence of this novel felt like it was crafted for me – it a smart, female scientist rocking out in her field. She wins awards, she builds laboratories and she is a genius in her field. How can I not love this book?! On top of it all, it’s a non-fiction novel which is not my normal read, yet I was SO OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK. All caps. Yes, I was that obsessed.

So, down to the nitty gritty: This biography is not all sunshine and roses. Along the way, Hope deals with all sorts of trials and craziness. We follow her as a lab tech in a hospital, as a scientist trying to get grants, and as a friend to Bill and mother. Mixed in with her personal story is loads of facts about trees and nature. There are entire chapters devoted to the complexity of how trees work and live, which was one of the coolest parts of the books for me. I wish Hope had taught my high school biology classes, because for once I actually felt like I understood what trees go through. Everything was relatable, and there were lots of metaphors.

The best part of this whole book was the comedy. Our author clearly has a fantastic sense of humor, which involves a LOT of sarcasm. I am incredibly sarcastic so I loved every second of every snarky comment. I felt so connected to Hope, because I could relate. That’s where I think this book really shines! Very few books connect with me on a such a personal level, so I loved every second of reading this book. I didn’t want to put it down and I wanted to read it again (which is very rare for me, by the way).

I believe there is something in this book for everyone: science, sarcasm, an incredible friendship between Hope and Bill, the trials and errors of being a mother, and mental health.

And, to be brutally honest, I don’t really have any negatives to say. It was the perfect book for me in every way. Other readers will have their doubts, but I connected with this book so strongly that I can’t see faults. Every reader wants a book like that, and I’m glad I found mine. Thank you Hope for sharing your wonderful story.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

BONUS: Some of my fave quotes included below:
“Fortunately, for the patient, there is a sleep-starved teenager apprenticed to a chain-smoking barmaid in the basement who is ready for action.”
“Working in the hospital teachers you that there are only two kinds of people in the world: the sick and the not sick. If you are not sick, shut up and help.”

That second quote has been my life motto for years, so hear someone as dedicated as Hope to say it… Yes, my heart has swelled up so much!

Check this book out on:

Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Canadian Retailer

 

If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might love:
#BookReview Life Seemed Good, But… by Richard Bell
Book Review: Ugly by Robert Hoge
Quick Book Review: Dora Versus Picasso by Cecil Jenkins

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Advertisements

#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop

 

 

There are few books that lift up my mood (and out of my reading slump!) quite like this one did!

Peter Green and the Unliving Academy was an absolute delight of a book! Fantasy, friendship and fun is all wrapped up tight into this neat, little package. If you haven’t read this book yet, what in the world are you doing?!

As the title suggests, we follow Peter Green when he goes to an “Unliving” Academy. Our lead has died and is now in the afterlife, but if you thought school stops there then you’d be wrong! Peter meets a large array of wacky characters and goes on many mischievous adventures, including but not limited too battling a werewolf teacher, dealing with ghost security guards and trying to lift a curse from upon the school. And YOU thought high school was hard…

Peter also tries to learn about himself and his past life. He knows he remembers a family, but just can’t put his finger on it. Unfortunately, it’s against the rules to find out about your past before you graduate!

I REALLY REALLY REALLY liked this book. I can’t express in words how much fun I had along the way reading it! Just because this book says ‘Young Adult’ does not mean an adult could not enjoy it! To me, it felt like a Harry Potter and the Philosopher/Sorcerer’s Stone-esque book. I would have loved to read it to a reading buddy or as a fun classroom read. The book is relatable from all angles – finding out about yourself, dealing with life’s (or death’s…) difficulties and making the right but hard decision. The book was definitely written in a way that the adult reader could enjoy it along with their kids. Therefore, it’s a family friendly book!

What were my downsides about this book?
1. Some of the plotlines could have been pushed to the second book, but it didn’t affect me all that much. I hope they are continued into the sequel because that would make those tiny, barely there plotlines make SO MUCH MORE sense.

2. Like other reviews have suggested, there were some minor grammar and spelling errors. I don’t really care, but I’m sure someone does. It didn’t pull me away from the story at all.

3. THE BOOK ENDED AND I DON’T HAVE THE SEQUEL IN MY HANDS. Yep, that’s a major downside. I got into this book and then it ended. I want moooooore!

Overall, this is a great middle-grade read! I’d highly suggest it for a fun, fantasy book to devour as soon as possible! If you liked the first two Harry Potter books then you’ll love this one! There was lots of world building and fun stories that built in this book. I truly hope a sequel comes out and more people read this book. I haven’t had this much fun in a book for a while!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher TCK Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out the following links:

Purchase the book: http://geni.us/petergreenbook1m
Check out the publisher, TCK Publishing: https://www.tckpublishing.com/
TCK Publishing’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tckpublishing/
Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/TCKPublishing

Find out more about the author on Goodreads! or Facebook or maybe even Twitter. She also has a website too!! https://www.aaallsopbooks.com/

This book can also be found on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Barnes & Nobles

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

#BookReview Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

One of my New Years Resolutions was the read more “classics” this year, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of the first I was able to pick up. I was so lucky that I found this book at a local charity book sale! It was screaming my name the minute I saw it on the table and it’s been screaming my name while it’s been sitting on my bookshelf (well…desk. My bookshelves are rather full. I need to get reading faster and more to clear some room…).

I’ve seen both of the movies (Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp) so I knew what was coming. It was going to be a book full of shenanigans with some humor and lessons sprinkled throughout. And boy, did it not disappoint! I have to say, Roald Dahl is one amazing author and I really want to read more by him now. This classic is so full of childish nonsense and valuable lessons all at the same time. It’s mesmerizing what this man could do with his words.

The book has some deep, dark material that comes off as playful. Charlie and his family weren’t well off and Roald make that very, very clear. Yet the prose he puts this narrative in makes it seem… fun? Silly? I can’t even pick the right word. As an adult, I am in awe of how this family survived but I could easily see a child laughing their way through. A child would truly have no idea what the horror of starving is like, yet it is described so amazingly in this book…

Seriously, I’m in awe. I am in complete and utter awe over this man’s writing. He’s a literary genius, to say the least.

There are parts as an adult that I can pick apart, but I don’t think this book was intended to be some literary work that needs to be examined like Shakespeare. This book shows the good and the bad of being a kid – don’t be stubborn, don’t be a brat, don’t watch television all day, don’t go ahead without listening – stuff that we all learn as a kid. Charlie is the “perfect” child who listens and does what he is supposed to, and in the end he wins. Is this how life works? Nope. Is it still important to teach? Heck yes!

Wonka is such a wild and interesting character too. He’s a very old adult but doesn’t act like it who employs Oompa Loompa and pays them in cacoa beans. He has a giant workshop but no workers and wants to give a child his only life’s work. Yes, that makes so much sense… Not. But it’s believable in this book, because he’s so wild and zany… I’d love to see a perfect adaption of this book – word for word, picture for picture, etc.

The language, dark humour and sarcasm in this book also make it absolutely hilarious. Snozzberries gets me every time! And Wonka’s absolutely amazing sarcasm against the children… Well, it’s mean but it’s funny. So funny. I found myself giggling at how ridiculous some of the comments were, yet I still loved it all the same.

Either way, this book is amazing! I wish I would have read it as a kid but reading it as an adult was so much funnier! Amazingly enough, this book only took me two days to finish.

Five out of five stars!

I need some more Roald Dahl in my life!

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

Check out some more reviews and books you might enjoy:

#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid

#BookReview HughTube by Richard Clark

#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen

28185972

 

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen is a funny, smart and entertaining novel that will keep you hooked until the very end!

This book was strange in the best way! It’s a mysterious thriller with extreme amounts of comedy and lunacy splashed throughout. It’s like one of the best sitcoms you can find on television these days (think the hilarity of Bones, but the intensity of NCIS/CSI). Throughout the book, you follow Merry, Yancy, Buck, Coolman and a variety of other wacky characters. Merry is the “Razor Girl” the title suggests, who performs hilarious acts of crime to get some well needed money to fund her insane antics. She runs into Yancy, an ex-cop, and they search for the missing Buck – a now famous man due to various antics of his own.

The book was a little hard to follow for me, but that was because I read it over a long period of time. That left me confused with following certain characters. It is a great book, but I’d recommend reading this book either in a binge or in a short period of time. The book is wild and has lots of fun story lines to follow, which could be confusing if you stay away from the book for too long.

I did find the book rather slow, but it was super funny – so it made up for the lack of speed. At times, I felt like there was some unnecessary slowness that could have been avoided but I’m a reader that loves a really fast pace. The mysteries and the comedy is mixed in nicely, which can keep your mind away from the slow moving pace if you are interested in comedic tones.

I haven’t read any books by Carl Hiaasen before this, but now I definitely want to get my hands on more of his books! The book was seriously funny, which is something I am lacking in my bookshelf. I’d highly recommend reading his books if you love lots of humor in your books. I couldn’t believe how many times I laughed out loud from super silly comments and situations Carl put his characters in. The jokes weren’t just one timers either – they were continued throughout the book (similar to how Arrested Development carries jokes over an entire episode). I seriously loved the humor! More authors need to learn how to include humor like Carl does! When I read other reviews after this book and saw that many readers thought this book was the LEAST funny, it made me wonder how much funnier his other books must be! This book was 5 star comedy for me!

Overall, the kookiness and craziness of this book is fantastic! It’s a great read that will make you laugh out loud!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this from Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:@ReviewAlholic

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Carl Hiaasen on:

Goodreads – Carl Hiaasen

Website – carlhiaasen.com

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin

 

Comment below-  what book do you find seriously funny?
And give me a shoutout on twitter using the hashtasg #briarsreviews if you read this blog post!

 

#BookReview HughTube by Richard Clark

36424790

 

HughTube is a fantastic read about a 14 year old child starting a blog (or personal reality television show). This funny yet simple story was a great read that would be well suited for the middle grade audience. It’s silly, modern and full of awesome surprises! Richard Clark continues to do a fantastic job writing in the mind of a child and connecting with his readers!

Hugh follows his schoolmates around while filming his blog, leading to hilarious shenanigans fit for any elementary school! Our lead is an awkward eighth grader who is trying to learn how to go about his life (and how to adapt to school). When everyone catches on and begins acting for the camera, things really get strange! Can you imagine a principal doing a crazy dance for the camera?!

This book is definitely a comedy book for the middle grade readers. You could read this book for fun, or for a nice switch up for your bedtime reading (for your younger kids). It’s definitely G rated and full of innocent, yet goofy situations.

I think this is a great read that is unique yet following the trends. It’s definitely a must read that I’d recommend for those kids who don’t want to read the same old, same old fairy tale!

Four out of five stars for this fun book!

 

Find out more about this book, HughTube, on:

Goodreads – Hugh Tube

Amazon.com – HughTube

Amazon.ca – HughTube

 

Check out another book by Richard Clark, The F.L.U.B Club on:

Goodreads – The FLUB Club

Amazon.com – The F.L.U.B. Club

Amazon.ca – The F.L.U.B. Club

 

Find out more about Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – Pandora

Amazon.com – Pandora

Amazon.ca – Pandora

 

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

 

Find out more about A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto

Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto is a vivid retelling of a Comedian’s life.

This book surprised me! I wasn’t sure what to expect since I was stepping out of my comfort zone for the types of books I normally read, but Joe really hit it out of the park! This comedian take on an acting student turned Comedian’s life really hit me in all the right places! Joe is trying to figure out what to do with his life, and then one day he takes a Comedy class. Throughout this journey, Joe experiences all of the typical 80s tropes (parties, girls, drugs, etc), but somehow this book felt real!

Joe’s style of writing feels real. The realistic descriptions are insanely vivid and make you feel like you are right there alongside our narrator. The story also feels like Joe is literally talking to me, telling me his exciting tale. This raw style worked really well within the story, and is the reason I hung onto this book for so long. Add in the hilarity of Joe explaining Chi-Chi Gonzalez and Doobs, and you’ve got one epic book!

This is by no means a boring story. It’ll keep you hooked and addicted at every turn. It has the pull of a fantastical, fictional tale yet it makes you feel like you know Joe. Seriously, I loved that personal touch Joe was able to get across to the reader.

The best line in the whole book is definitely “Thou shall not be a cornball”, and I felt like that literally summed up the novel for me. The comedic yet truthful take on a man trying to figure out what to do with his life worked oh so well!

If there is any cons to this book, it’s that the story jumps around a little bit. At times, I wasn’t sure how far apart in the timeline the chapters were, and it felt like there were parts of the narrative missing. Additionally, if you are a reader who doesn’t like this particular style (personal yet comedic) then this book might not sit well with you. I feel like this book is almost in it’s own little niche corner, which might turn some readers away.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book! It was a fresh, new take and is definitely a change from my normal reads. Joe Montaperto is an excellent author, and I’d love to see more by him in the future. Oh, and I’d definitely recommend this book!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author Joe Montraperto in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Summary of the book by the author:

The second of my memoirs, entitled – ‘Lovely Chaos’ – a story of life in 1980’s New York City and the adventures, opportunities and diversity one could find on the gritty streets, including a stint in a prestigous acting school, life as a nut vendor in Hell’s Kitchen, a spiritual journey in a city ashram, performing stand up comedy on the circuit with such names as Jon Stewart, John Leguizammo, and Dave Atell. Also, the seedy nightlife, spending time at bars like Rudy’s, populated by various denizens of the Hell’s Kitchen population, and the ensuing confrontations with the ever-present hordes of crackheads who roamed the city streets late at night. There’s quite a bit more, but you get the picture.

 

Find this book on:

www.joemontaperto.com

Goodreads – Lovely Chaos

Amazon.ca – Lovely Chaos

Amazon.com – Lovely Chaos

Smashwords – Lovely Chaos

and on Authors Den!

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic and tell me what you think!!

Comment below – will you be picking up this book?

 

#BookReview My Best Friend is a Secret Agent by Richard Clark

26819851

 

This book is serious fun! It’s silly, zanely and full of hilarity!

The pictures in the book are incredibly amusing, and go along perfectly with the story! The story is a little out of this world (a kid designing a microchip that goes on your tooth and make you a secret agent?!) but that’s why it’s so good! This is the type of creativity and imagination I needed in my childhood books! I’ve been waiting for this kind of awesome for years!

I’d say this book is a mix of secret agents, superheroes and comedy! Our lead is kind of the Q or Alfred to his best friend who’s the Batman or James Bond (less broody, of course). There’s also the cute love interest, the mean bully, and other school tropes you’d expect. It’s not as intense as those adaptions of spies (obviously), but it felt like the kid friendly version – with lots more silly commentary and goofy plot lines.

This book could easily be read to your child (maybe 6 years and up? Do 3 year olds know what secret agents are?…) or used as a middle grade book. It doesn’t seem to have some moral theme behind it, it’s most just for fun!

I could easily see this being the next kid’s television show with it’s awesome plot. It almost felt like the book adaption of a movie.

The worst part of this book was the cliffhanger! Now I have to get the rest of the books to know how it ended!!

Overall, this book is awesome! I’d definitely recommend this book as a fun read! It’ll have you giggling at every page!

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

Find out more about the illustrator on:

Facebook

www.richtoons.com

Youtube – RichToonsTV

Twitter – @richtoonstv

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

 

Photo from Goodreads.